I have small children and one thing I want for them is to know God's Word and be able to hide it in their hearts. As a mom, I want to choose materials that aide in that process while remaining faithful to Biblical truth.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11
Growing up, I went through an AWANA program at our church. Many verses that I know and rely on today pop up from those I have hidden deep in my heart.
Being a children’s director for several years, I had to choose curriculum and teach many lessons. Also, when choosing materials for my own family, I look for several key features.
Has the content or meaning been distorted in any way?
When reviewing children's Bible storybooks or literature, I look for them to be as Biblically accurate to the actual Bible story as possible in a language that children can understand and relate to.
Has a true story been changed to be too much like a fairytale ?
My goal when reading my children stories from the Bible is for them to have a real or accurate view of the Bible. Although there are fabulous children's materials out there that depict stories of the Bible, paying attention to details is always important.
As a teacher or parent, it is helpful to know the story to expand on facts and make certain truths are being told.
Can I correct any misleadings or are the pictures too impactful?
Children are being bombarded with information and visual images from every direction. It is key to emphasize the Bible as truth and clarify what is not real or a fairytale. It is also important to remember when using Bible storybooks or other literature, they are the author’s version of the story put in their own words. Clarity may be necessary.
Pictures speak a thousand words, pay attention to the details.
When choosing materials that are Biblical based it is vital children know what is the Biblical truth from the story, what is the truth that can be applied to life, and what parts of the story are someone else’s thoughts.
Will my children be able to make better sense of the Bible?
Kids generalize information. It is often based on their limited experiences and knowledge. While some books make for great bedtime stories, mixing fiction with the Bible can leave a fine line or many gray areas.
I want my children to know the Word of God is true. If I put those truths into fiction without clarifying what is real and what is fiction, I am leaving them with differentiating information for themselves. I risk them thinking fiction stories are true or the Bible is a fairytale.
When I am using literature that is not straight from the Bible to teach Bible lessons it must be for the purposes of making the story more understandable or making sense at their level.
Finally, I have been teaching children Bible lessons for many years. To be honest, kids can always handle more than we give them credit for.
I will give you an example. I was teaching a group of 4-year-olds and was telling the kids (I always give lots of “grown-up” information) the book of Luke was written by Luke and Luke was a doctor. Why would it be good to know that Luke was a doctor? Luke, from the first verses, told us how important it was for him to be accurate with his information. To tell the truth. There are many people that don’t believe the Bible is real but Luke is looked at by many historical scholars because he wrote his details so precise. They are trustworthy.
Kids should get that, right? Why not tell them anyway? Someday, God may bring it back to them.
One little boy, I was telling this story to, was riding with his older brother and mom in the car and they were talking about church and the lessons and this little boy was telling his family that Luke was a doctor. His mother couldn’t believe he knew that and why he would know that. I told her I like to give the kids lots of information.
They can take it. They are like little sponges. Teach them and teach them truth. God’s truth! Friends, they are going to need it.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6*What things do you look for in choosing children's Bible based literature? Share with us below in the comments and share this post so your friends can join in the conversations.*
You can check my review of the ESV Family Devotional Bible here. We are loving this devotional at my house. All the devotions are actually contained within a full version of the Bible. That's a bonus in my book!
Before you go, stop by my review and giveaway of Bible Belle’s. A series to help teach girls about the beauty within.
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